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Mid August downstream news update: Canada and South America

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


British Columbia

David Black has indicated that he has found the US$ 25 billion he needs to construct a new crude oil refinery in Kitimat. However, he has had to raise US$ 6 billion in Canada after Chinese investors backed out of a deal.

The plant, which is to be constructed north of Kitimat, will refine oil from the Alberta oilsands shipped either by pipeline or rail.


Suncor Energy has indicated that it began containing and treating water in the Vidal Street South ditch near its Sarnia refinery last week, after benzene was detected in water samples.

Benzene is a cancer causing chemical, that was found in two locations near an existing remediation site established in 2006 after benzene was discovered in soil surrounding a stretch of underground pipelines along Vidal Street South.

Suncor spokewoman, Jennifer Johnson, has outlined that benzene levels in the two affected samples, taken recently, did not exceed levels described in the interim Provincial Water Quality Objective of 100 ppb.

‘Ditch water upstream and downstream of the remediation site did not indicate any benzene levels, so there was no contaminated water that was running off the Suncor site, and past the sluice gate into the Aamjiwnaang community’.

Suncor plans to install berms to isolate the impacted area where the recent positive water samples were taken, and install pumps and hoses to capture and process all contaminated water from inside the bermed area.

‘By isolating the impacted area where the test results were showing benzene, we’re ensuring that the contaminated water continues to stay in that area, and does not migrate out’, Johnson said.

South America


Shares in Mexico’s petrochemicals companies, widely seen as key beneficiaries of a comprehensive energy reform unveiled by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, fell on Monday as profit taking led investors to cash out recent gains.

Shares in conglomerate Alfa fell more than 4%, while Alpek, Alfa’s main petrochemical subsidiary, also saw its share price fall by approximately 4%.

Mexichem stock was down nearly 3%.

Pena Nieto unveiled the government’s proposal to reboot Mexico’s ailing oil, gas and electricity sectors on Monday in a reform that aims to boost private sector involvement in the country’s ring fenced energy monopolies.

This is expected to help Mexico’s major petrochemical firms that could gain access to a shuttered market, benefit from cheaper inputs such as natural gas and electricity and eventually produce new products.

Many of those companies have rallied in recent weeks as investors banked on the energy reform. But analysts have attributed the sell off to profit taking as investors sought to cash out on those recent gains.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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